2 opening bid, responses and rebids etc.           

In MAF the well known 2 opening (multi-colored) is applied, which is very similar, in fact complementary, to the 2 opening. The few principal differences between the two were necessarily caused by the league's legal regulations. The rules stipulate that "above 2-level", while doing weak openings, the kind of at least one of the weak suits must be revealed. So all weak meanings of a multi opened hand must contain at least one common suit. An exception is made for the 2 multi-colored, but not for the less known 2 multi-colored opening. Still there are a lot of similarities.

  2    multi colored 2 convention 2 © weak <=11
  always forcing 2 "game" if weak © & "pass" if 10-11
  2NT  strong                 >=12 
  a: 6-card ©/, weak ***  6-11  
type frequency %
absolute relative
a: 4.146 87.30
b1: 0.199 4.19
b2: 0.226 4.75
c: 0.105 2.20
d: 0.006 0.12
e: 0.068 1.44
total: 4.749 100.00
b1: 5-card /, strong
b2: at least 8 sure tricks
***   >=20*
c: balanced hand rebid: 2NT** 23-25
d: balanced, / length rebid 3NT** >=26
e: 5/4,4,4,0/1 distribution ***  >=18
    short in /    
  * or 8 straight tricks
  ** based on weak responses, otherwise one level up: 3/4NT
  *** for the bid sequences of these opening variants please have a
look in the table, which comes next.


The number of different types of hands a 2 opener may have (5) is a lot, probably more then you are used to. This advantage above the traditional multi-colored opening, has become possible through, firstly: the design of the 2 opening, and secondly: the integration of the two 2-level minor suit openingbids. Therefore it is not wise to apply one of these conventions and leave the other one alone. You must apply both (if you want: in a shortened version).

The response to 2 is nearly a relay, just like the response to 2. Here there are three possibilities, either you opening-strength or you have not. The third possibility is when you have about 10 hcp's and good support for hearts. In that case you respond 2 on which the opener's rebid, if he holds the weak 6-suiter in ©, should be 4© immediately. A rebid of 3© is not allowed, because this would show the e:-hand with a singleton in hearts; there are no other bids available to show a limit hand. If he holds the weak spades, he must pass. In the next table is shown how the opener's rebids are defined for each type of hand he may hold.
As you see the responses are all very natural.

It is necessary to make a few supplemental remarks here.

After weak rebids there is no follow up bidding any more.

c: en d:
After a 2NT rebid the follow up bidding is old fashioned:
either:   the well known Stayman- Jacoby(transfers for 4 suits)-conventions.
or: the Niemijer convention. (widely applied in the Netherlands)
The follow up after a 3NT rebid will mostly end up into a NT-contract; the suits called are real 5+cards. The first call in a new suit is always forcing.
The responder has all the data available to calculate the total number of hcp's. He is best equipped to determine the level, and kind also, of the final contract. In the very rare case that an opener has far more (30-37) then 26 hcp's he should dream up something nice himself; MAF does take such hands into account.
A rebid of 4NT should be considered as Blackwood. Now the opener has to decide about the final contract.

If the responder has bad support (<=2 cards) in the opener's suit, things are getting difficult. The 2nd response should be pass, and if there still are game chances, 3NT; 3 in a 5+card major suit might be considered.
Strong (>=12) reponders, having no support, commonly bid 4NT. If same minor suit is recalled non-forcing, this shows a very long card in that suit and eight sure tricks. As a consequence of this some Blackwood responses are raised one step (5©/ is now 1/2 Aces).
By responding 3/4 in the unmentioned minor, the responder establishes the rebid-suit as trump suit and starts the exchanging of controls at least until the game is reached.
Here also the responder is in the best position to evaluate both hands in order to establish the final contract. He is most likely to possess hidden (for his partner) values.
A response of 3NT is "to play" without support in the suit the opener has in mind.

After the rebid 3©/ the responder must establish the trump suit. Again he knows nearly exactly what kind of a hand the opener has. So he is the proper player to determine which suit is going to the trump suit. Any game bid is a final contract. Any other bid in a suit starts exchanging of controls and is at least game forcing.
In the case of 4©/ the exchanging of controls is impossible, if we maintain the agreement, made in the last paragraph, which we do of course. With jointly, at least, 32 hcp's and a sure singleton, which after all may appear to be a void too, you can safely proceed with Blackwood.
The responder is not compelled to inform his partner, about which suit is going to be the trump suit. As a matter of fact he only can do so by bidding a game, or after Blackwood has been started (by him!!), by bidding another suit then the cheapest one on 4/5-level, or by bidding a suit on 6/7-level.


  rebids after an opening: 2:   responses:
  2©   2 *   2NT
weak hand to play 4© in case a: strong >=12
a: 6+card ©/, weak 6-11 2© a1:  6+ in ©: 4© * a2:     6-9 3©/
      b1:  6+ in : pass b2:  10-11 3/
b: 5+card /, strong >=20 * 3/   3/   4/
c: balanced 20-22 2NT   2NT   3NT
d: balanced >=26 3NT   3NT   4NT ***
e: 5/4,4,4,0/1 distribution, short in ©/, game forcing >=20 3©/ **   3©/ **   4©/ **
* it is not allowed to respond 3©, as this would point e:; the responder cannot bid 4© because he does know the opener's suit.
** the cheapest free bid showing the void/singleton suit:  (weevandedree)
*** the 4NT reply shows the 26 hcp's but also also asks for aces and kings Blackwood


We have seen that the response of 2NT to both 2-level minor suit openings is always forcing. This looks very much like a sohl response. It is not a real sohl, because the bid only has one meaning. In both cases 2NT means: "the responder holds a hand with >=12 hcp's".
It would have been easy to attach several different meanings to the 2NT-responding hand. However I did not do so, because I did not consider it useful. Why should the opener be informed about the responders hand? As soon as the responder knows the opener's type of hand, he will probably always be the one who can evaluate the situation better than his partner.
Moreover, if his partner is weak, what 2 MiS openers mostly are, there is not much bidding room left for information exchange.

On the other hand, elsewhere I yet choose for using sohl responses in MAF at an even higher opening level. After both major suit openings at 2-level, a 2NT response is a strong (!!) sohl-response: forcing, as well as multi way. There it turned out to be useful, and was probably facilitated by the fact that 2-level MaS openings are not multi-way (at least not annoyingly).

If you want to see examples of bridgames in which the matter, treated in this section, is practiced you should click on examples and choose for the appropriate convention or for any typical opening bid.